“The Yucks is a delightful merging of terrific writer, terrific subject, ugly-ass
uniforms, and a gathering of gridiron ineptitude only a blind scout could love. Wonderfully done."
Jeff Pearlman, author of Boys Will Be Boys: The Glory Days and Party Nights of the Dallas Cowboys Dynasty
Two Years in Tampa with the Losingest Team in NFL History
Simon and Schuster, 2016 (ISBN-13-9781476772264)
During the 1976 and 1977 seasons, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers cemented their place in football history, not with a Super Bowl win, but with the longest losing streak in the history of the NFL. The Buccaneers—affectionately and mockingly called the “The Yucks” by fans—lost their first twenty-six games. No other team in professional football has ever come close to this streak. Their on-field failures were so hilarious that Tonight Show host Johnny Carson used to joke about them in his opening monologues. Still, the team was beloved, because even as losers they brought a sense of a collective identity to a group of Florida Gulf Coast communities now known as Tampa Bay. When they finally won their first game, 8,000 people attended a victory party at the team's headquarters, One Buc Place. When they won their next game, the final game of the 1977 season, fans tore down the goalposts.
Jason Vuic’s The Yucks! is about more than just a team and its near-comedic inability to play football. It’s the tale of larger-than-life characters and the real human moments that make us love the game. There’s Hugh Culverhouse, the miserly owner, and John McKay, the notoriously quotable four-time national championship-winning coach who promised a playoff run in five years. There’s Steve Spurrier, the arrogant coaching icon and Heisman trophy winning Florida native who was quarterback for the Bucs. Lee Roy Selmon was the Bucs’ gentle giant and first-ever draft pick who became the best pass-rusher in the league. Then there’s Ricky Bell, the star running back who played just four years before dying tragically of a rare tissue disease, and Pat Toomay, the witty defensive end whose tell-all book on the Cowboys led to his banishment to Tampa Bay.
A book about a team so outrageously bad it’s hilarious, The Yucks! flips the long tradition of celebrating great teams to give a can’t-look-away account of the team that the entire nation loved to hate—the best worst team in NFL history.
Listen to Jason discuss the 1976-77 Bucs with host Gary Waleik of NPR's Only a Game.
Click here for Jason's interview with Steve Bortstein of Fox Sports Radio.
What do you think of your team's execution, coach?
read an exerpt fromThe Yucks on SB Nation's BucsNation blog!
ABC's Morning Blend (Nov. 2016)
Praise for The Yucks!
"Funny, endearing look at how the Bucs lost their way to success, cementing a region through creamsicle unis and John McKay one-liners." Sports Illustrated
"A brisk, warmhearted reminder of how professional sports can occasionally reach stunning unprofessional depths." Publishers Weekly
"The maladroit origins of these lovable losers is given a light touch in this delightful tale of interest to all sports enthusiasts." Library Journal
"The Yucks are back, and it's a must-read." SB Nation
"[In The Yucks,] Vuic not only captures the hilarious moments, but also explains how the team helped secure a collective identity for Florida’s Gulf communities." Christian Science Monitor
"Vuic’s book is about bad football. And it’s very good." Tampa Bay Times